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What size shot do I need?

Picking The Correct Implement Size (Shot Put)

By Chris Dyrmishi

Picking the correct implement diameter is one of the biggest, yet most overlooked issues Shot Putters face.

Some throw implements that are too big, some throw implements that are too small, but how do you figure out what size is perfect for you?

Rules of Shot Put Sizing

Firstly, here are the rules and regulations for Shot Put sizing per age group and weight. 

Shot Put Size Rules Male | UKA
Shot Put Size Rules Female | UKA

Throwing a Small Shot (Implement) 

The most common issue in the throwing community is seeing young athletes using implements that are clearly too small for them. Using small implements limits athletes as they cannot exert maximal force on the Shot on release. Basically, they can't put all of their power into the implement as the surface area is too small. 

How do I know if an implement is too small for me? 

  • You can wrap your whole hand around the Shot 
  • Lots of throws come off of one or two fingers (this could turn into hand/wrist pain after a lot of throws) 
  • It feels 'heavier' than other implements of the same weight 

Throwing a Big Shot (Implement)

Courtesy of RWT Photography 

It is clear to see that the implement above is slightly too small for the athlete, as he has only three fingers behind the implement and is beginning to wrap his hand around it.  

Throwing a Big Shot (Implement) 

Athletes and coaches alike can typically figure out when an implement is too big. If you, as an athlete, struggle to fit the implement in your neck and this has an impact on the throw (i.e your technique changes as a result of trying to accommodate the bigger diameter), go smaller. This is something that coaches can spot too, but it ultimately comes down to the athlete's discretion. 

How do I know if an implement is too big for me? 

  • You cannot physically handle it  
  • You struggle to place it in your neck 
  • It throws off your technique (for an extended period of time) 

Throwing a Big Shot (Implement)

Courtesy of @lissgphotography

In the image above, the implement is clearly too big. The athlete is struggling to hold it in his neck with only four fingers. 

Why does shot size matter?  

As an athlete, you should be looking to maximise your power output, and to do this - you must maximise the surface area you have to exert force upon. Essentially, it would be best if you were always looking at buying the largest diameter implement possible. This does not mean that you should buy an implement that you physically cannot handle, however. It must comfortably fit in your neck, and you must be able to get four fingers behind the Shot. 

Undersized Shot Example

Undersized shot in putting position

Correct Shot size example

What does the correct size shot look like?

Oversized Shot Example

What does a too big shot look like?

Mix these factors into consideration with your hand size, and begin trying out different sized implements.  

  • If you are looking for a small-sized shot - Stainless steel or brass 
  • If you are looking for a medium-sized shot - Cast iron 
  • If you are looking for a large-sized shot - Turned steel or iron 

You can find out more information about these implements here...

https://www.neuff.co.uk/blogs/product-guides

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